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Letting agents invoicing terms???
Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 9 September 2003
Hi Guys

Does anyone have any experience they would like to share as regards to invoicing?

Do letting agents usually pay per job, weekly, monthly 30/90 daysHuh

would be of great help projecting cashflow

many thanks Wink


Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 9 September 2003
I've stopped touting for work from letting agents because of payment problems, some of them were OK and wrote me a check when I dropped the keys back at the office, others had no intention of paying for my services.

Where I live has a big university so there is a lot of private rented accommodation.

the landlords i found fell into 2 catagaries, reputable, honest companies & gangsters! make show you sort out how payment is going to be made before the job commences, and never give over 30 days.

Posted by Derek (Derek), 9 September 2003

My business terms for commercial work are:-

Terms: Payment strictly net within 30 days from date of invoice.

This needs to go on your quotation too.

The reason for the 'net' is that some bright sparks have a habit of taking a 5% trade discount...usually builders.

The 'net' bit guarantees full payment... once bitten etc..

Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 9 September 2003
hmm, very interesting!

Tghanks guys, keep it coming, the better informed i am the better i can succeed.

Posted by woodman (woodman), 11 September 2003
Hi All,

Unless otherwise agreed there is a default period set aside under the Late Payments Act of 30 days.

In other words where no credit period has been agreed
in a contract the debt will still become due from the moment the service is carried out, this merely means the interest will start accruing after the 30th day.

For debts up to £999.00 you can charge £40.00 compensation plus interest.
For debts up to £9999.00 you can charge £70.00 compensation plus interest
For debts up to £10000 or more you can charge £100.00 compensation plus interest.
Interest is base rate plus 8%

On every invoice you issue make it plain as mentioned by Derek your terms of payment plus underneath add:

'We understand and will exercise our statutory right to claim interest and compensation for debt recovery costs under the late payment legislation if we are not paid according to our credit terms'

I use this on all invoices AND quotes and very, very rarely do I have any payment problems.

Don't be frightened to do this it is just good business practice and will not be questioned or jeopardise future
contracts it is just to deter them from late payment.
Your future clients will understand that this is the way you like to do business.

Good Luck
Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 12 September 2003
Thanks for that woodman,

i really needed to know about the interest bearing bit. As I have to invoice the owner on this occasion (the letting agent gave me the job but said i need to invoice the owner directlyHuh) I am hoping that i haven't been done. I have phoned the agent and they don't seem too interested as i am not invoicing them.

Thanks for the help

Posted by Natalie (Natalie), 14 October 2003

Hope your not still having problems with the invoice....

One of my best friends is a LA so have sound advise from her...

If you ever have any problems carry on invoicing the LA as they were the one's that instructed you to do the work in the first place make sure that you invoice the company name and send reminders, be careful not to get done for harassment though. Every 14 days will do...

I always write in the third letter that legal action will be taken if payment is not made within 14 days... work so far...  

Hope this helps with future invoicing...

Posted by DP (DP), 14 October 2003
Martin, be extremely careful about this one. We get it on almost every job in the insurance claim side of things, and we always use a Mandate to protect ourselves, didnít realise you would get the same, obvious really I guess.

Technically you should only work under the instruction of those who will pay you or those as appointed to give you instruction on their behalf; however you are entitled of proof of that.

The LA's agreement or clause with their client is nothing to do with you and therefore the ex tenant should receive copy of your estimated costs and sign to agree them including any payment conditions before work starts.

Alternatively the LA can issue you an official order, which they will be very used to doing, no doubt with their terms of payment on. And thatís the only way you should really work otherwise you can and will get caught, only a matter of time.

You can of course produce a condition whereby the LA has the provision to instruct you, providing the client pays you within 14 days otherwise the LA becomes responsible for the full bill. This is a derivative of the Mandates we use, which have been tested in court on a number of occasions.

On this particular point Iím happy to fax you a copy to adapt, or I can post out, just let me know.

On this job, Natalie is absolutely right, continue to invoice the LA if they back up on you, advise them that you can send a copy of the invoice to the client but thatís all.

Unless you have seen sight of any agreement from the client in respect of these works, you made your contract with the LA unless he told you that you would be invoicing the client before the works started, in which case you would have technically agreed "bad move if you did".


Posted by Cleanersonthego (Cleanersonthego), 11 January 2004
hi ive recently done a job 4 a letting agency they signed the invoice but there was no terms and conditions they know i have just set up and am waiting for invoices to b printed am i entitled to payment thanks dave
Posted by DP (DP), 12 January 2004
Not sure if im reading this right. If you have done the work and someone has received benefit then you would be entitled to payment.

However the question would be from whom and how much. A signature on the bottom of an invoice only means that the person who has signed it, has seen sight of it.

It agrees nothing, either terms or value or who should pay. Unless it clearly states as such.

As stated in the above previous post it depends who instructed you and on what authority.

It seems that letting agents are quite used to being soft targets for people starting up and some may make use of this situation.

I canít stress this enough, it is vital that you fully understand WHO is going to pay you prior to doing the works. All focus should be made on this subject before
everything else. As any subsequent work you find is completely irrelevant unless you can be sure you will get paid without argument and in the time frame that you expect.

Therefore it is important that you make provision on your documentation so that there is no misunderstanding between either party. If you have produced blank invoices, then produce an attachment and staple it to any quote you issue.

I realise that with L/A its a slightly different issue but still one that can be addressed.

In respect of the L/A's Iím happy to forward a copy of our mandate/on site work order, which could be used for adaptation in respect of the "either/or" which should allow you to take instruction on site and still be covered in respect of payment.

However Iím not convinced that there isnít a more appropriate standard document already in existence to cover this issue from one of the cleaning organization or at least within its content.

Perhaps if anyone knows of such a document they would post here to let us know.

Regards DP

Posted by woodman (woodman), 12 January 2004
Hi Guys

The simple answer I have found for this tricky problem is on your quote have a space set out below for the client to  sign giving 'authority to proceed' this is ONLY signed by the person responsible for payment.
If the LA signs it on someone behalf he becomes liable more often than not they are happy with this arrangement. Wink
Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 12 January 2004
Hi guys

I've been at it for about 4 months now and glad to report that i am having no problems getting paid at all (phew)

They usually pay within 2 weeks and 1 goes straight into account.

thanks for all your help as always


Martin Cool

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